Fisheries Program


Our fisheries researchers are world-class scientists. They conduct cutting-edge research to provide fisheries resource managers the scientific information they need to protect, restore, and enhance our Nation’s fisheries and their habitats.

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Imperiled Species Research

Imperiled Species Research

Forty percent of all fish species in North America are at risk of extinction. USGS research is crucial to protect and manage at-risk species and healthy fish populations into the future.

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Drought and Ecological Flows

Drought and Ecological Flows

As part of the USGS Fisheries program, ecological flows, or the relationships between quality, quantity, and timing of water flows and ecological response of aquatic biota and ecosystems; and related ecosystem services are being investigated.

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View Our Fisheries Research

View Our Fisheries Research

USGS scientists study life history, population ecology, and conservation and restoration strategies for aquatic species and the habitats that sustain them.

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Date published: April 30, 2021

Media Alert: Portions of Missouri River to change color temporarily as USGS releases dye to study endangered pallid sturgeon

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will conduct a dye-trace assessment. For a few hours during this research, several miles of the Missouri river will appear reddish due to non-toxic dye. The red color will dissipate rapidly and will disappear after it travels several miles downstream. During the study, USGS will deploy several boats on the river to monitor how and where the dye moves

Date published: April 7, 2021

USGS, Southern Illinois University researchers advance genome mapping for critically-endangered sturgeon

This scientific advancement can lead to the development of new genetic markers that will help scientists distinguish between pallid sturgeon and the shovelnose sturgeon, another sturgeon species that looks similar but is more common.

Date published: March 13, 2017

Water managers explore new strategies to protect fish in California’s Bay Delta

The water in the Delta arrives primarily from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, supplying water for more than 22 million people. This water source supports California’s trillion-dollar economy—the sixth largest in the world—and its $27 billion agricultural industry.


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Year Published: 2021

Survival and growth of suckers in mesocosms at three locations within Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, 2018

Executive SummaryDue to high mortality in the first year or two of life, Lost River (Deltistes luxatus sp.) and Shortnose suckers (Chasmistes brevirostris sp.) in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon rarely reach maturity. In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began the Sucker Assisted Rearing Program (SARP) to improve early life survival before...

Burdick, Summer M.; Conway, Carla M.; Ostberg, Carl O.; Bart, Ryan J.; Elliott, Diane G.
Burdick, S.M., Conway, C.M., Ostberg, C.O., Bart, R.J., and Elliott, D.G., 2021, Survival and growth of suckers in mesocosms at three locations within Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1036, 18 p.,

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Year Published: 2021

Virulence and infectivity of UC, MD and L strains of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) in four populations of Columbia River Basin Chinook salmon

Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHNV) infects juvenile salmonid fish in conservation hatcheries and aquaculture facilities, and in some cases, causes lethal disease. This study assesses intra-specific variation in the IHNV susceptibility of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Columbia River Basin (CRB), in the northwestern...

Hernandez, Daniel G.; Brown, William E.; Naish, Kerry A.; Kurath, Gael

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Year Published: 2021

Identifying resting locations of a small elusive forest carnivore using a two-stage model accounting for GPS measurement error and hidden behavioral states

Studies of animal movement using location data are often faced with two challenges. First, time series of animal locations are likely to arise from multiple behavioral states (e.g., directed movement, resting) that cannot be observed directly. Second, location data can be affected by measurement error, including failed location fixes....

Hance, Dalton; Moriarty, Katie M.; Hollen, Bruce A.; Perry, Russell